Running a business large or small requires an enormous investment of time and attention to dozens of details. So how involved should the CEO or business owner be with marketing, communications, and messaging? Is it worth his or her time for the CEO to blog?
In short, the answer is Yes. And there are ways to do it effectively and efficiently without removing his or her managerial responsibilities.
A Credible Source
Perhaps the best reason for a CEO to blog is authenticity and credibility: if the public has the chance to read the words of the leader, the organization can break down barriers of communication and the public can not only learn more but also, via the Comments or sharing features, engage in a one-to-one dialogue with the most senior leader.
What’s Old Is New Again
The idea of a personal letter being written from the CEO and disseminated to a wide audience is nothing new. The CEO is often the byline of the ‘Welcome’ letter in a New Employee Orientation package, and the CEO (or CFO) is the one authoring the Management Discussion and Analysis portion of an Annual Report.
However, for anyone who’s spent time in the PR or HR function of a company, such letters are often ghostwritten, and final signoff from the CEO doesn’t come until much later. If this is widely understood and accepted, does that undermine the credibility of the CEO?
Not necessarily. Single-use letters like the Welcome letter or Annual Report introduction can have long lead times, but a blog’s format requires a much more active messaging format. As such, a reader may fully expect that the CEO receives assistance from a PR team member or designated writer, but by and large, many of the posts will be written directly by the source.
Delegate But Still Oversee
One strategy for the CEO to blog or write personal thoughts is the idea of note-taking, and using technology to ‘ideate’ and capture thoughts as they occur. Communications professionals can provide their CEO or members of senior leadership with tools to capture thoughts in transit – as they often travel – and then take these disparate notes and put them into a more structured format suitable for a blogpost.
Indeed, even recording audio or video clips can be extremely valuable, as the communications or marketing team can transcribe the material – or with permission, use it as part of the blogpost itself, for extra authenticity.
For CEOs involved in a more day-to-day, client-facing capacity – as so many are these days – a video capture can do wonders for communicating with a key prospect, supplier, or industry partner, and can open the doors to more detailed discussions and communications.
For busy or shy CEOs, all it takes is one customer to reveal, ‘I read your blogpost,’ or ‘I saw your video,’ and they will realize the value of the effort.
Perfect Shouldn’t Be the Goal
The search for perfection is what often prevents many people from starting on their social media journey. Luckily, with the dynamic tools of social publishing these days, attempts can be corrected or modified quickly.
Over time, the CEO will discover his or her ‘voice,’ and a willing audience will embrace it.
Final Thought: As businesses of all sizes these days are doing more with less, and with so many customers bored or tired with faceless communications, a continuous stream of real messaging from the CEO can go the extra mile in converting naysayers to believers.
Figure out a combination of tools and strategies that work, and produce an outstanding platform that makes people want to come back for more.
Want Help? Contact our team today to ask a question via the form to the right.
ChangeU: for your independent study…
1. THE 2103 BRANDFOG CEO, SOCIAL MEDIA & LEADERSHIP SURVEY:http://goo.gl/fH8CBi This second annual survey was conducted to better understand C-Suite social media strategy and measure its effect on executive leadership, brand image, and brand trust. The results? Over 80% of respondents believe that that social media is an important communication channel for CEOs to engage with customers and investors.
2. THE SOCIAL CEO:http://goo.gl/6yHKL4 Research firm KRC and public relations firm Weber Shandwick teamed up to study perceptions of CEOs who engage in social media. One interesting finding: 73% of executives with social CEOs search to see what their CEO is posting.
3. RESEARCH FROM CEO.COM: http://goo.gl/CYHRyM After sending his first tweet, Warren Buffett joked, “Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?” However, according to this report from CEO.com and Domo, 68% of CEOs have absolutely no presence on any of the major social networks (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google Plus).